Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014: A Year in Review

Thursday, January 1.

Happy New Year! Or, as they say in France, bonne annee! I'm going to take a quick look back on some of the wonderful moments of 2014 ... but first, a toast.

I just love this snippet from An Affair to Remember -- "Don't you think life should be gay and bright and bubbly, like champagne?" Isn't it just the most appropriate New Year's quote? And speaking of champagne, let's get started on the highlights of 2014.

While interning with WM Admissions, I was asked to write about my highlights of 2013. It took a lot of work to pick the best moments of my year, but the result was this post for WMBlogs. In February 2014, I wrote: "However, the best part of 2013 is that despite how exciting and rewarding it’s been, it’s given me even more to look forward to in the year to come. From the opportunity to return to France to do research this summer, to the chance to work in the Admission Office as an intern, to the amazingly exciting fact that I’m going to be an aunt in a few short weeks, I can already tell that, as great as 2013 may have been, 2014 is going to be even better!"

I don't want to brag, but boy was I right! 2014 has been one for the books: a truly incredible and memorable year.

Chief among this year's highlights? FRANCE, PART TWO. When I headed off to Montpellier in August 2013, I had absolutely no idea that I would be returning to France within the year! Receiving the McCormack-Reboussin Scholarship gave me the opportunity to spend six weeks doing independent research for my upcoming Honors thesis. (More on that can of worms later.) It was an incredible -- though occasionally solitary and surprisingly exhausting -- experience. I could have thought of no better way to pass the summer!

Of course, this year wasn't all about travel! In fact, compared to 2013 -- during which I spent time beboppin' around in the countries of St. Maarten, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and Germany -- 2014 was actually pretty tame. But my adventures stateside were just as memorable. Here are a couple of the 'domestic' highlights!

Highlight: The Bloxam Family Expands. The biggest event of 2014 this side of the Atlantic was, hands down, the highly anticipated arrival of the first member of the new Bloxam family generation. I was so blessed to be able to travel to Los Angeles in March to meet this little angel -- it was the best spring break a girl could ask for! Although she's been pretty far away from us since then, I could not have been happier that 2014 also brought my sister and brother-in-law's back to the East Coast. I got to spend time with them a few weeks ago and fell in love with my beautiful niece all over again.

Highlight: New Sisters in Kappa Delta. As you can see in the photos below, "family" can be more than just biological relatives. Joining Kappa Delta during the fall of my sophomore year was one of the best decisions I've made at William & Mary. My sorority sisters aren't just my friends: they're also some of the most inspiring and supportive role models I could ask for! During 2014, I enjoyed coming back to our weekly meetings and even took on a few more roles in the chapter. Four seniors graduated from our family in the spring, but we gained four new friendly faces in October!!

Highlight: Getting More Involved in College Extra-Curriculars. I'm all too aware that 2014 marks my last full year at William & Mary. Although I'm mentally preparing myself to graduate from college and leave Williamsburg in the coming year, I've decided to make the most of the time I have left at the College. After coming back from a semester abroad

Highlight: Starting Senior Year at William & Mary! But at the end of the day, the most important part of being a college student is just that -- being a college student. From taking some of my final classes as an undergraduate to presenting my in-progress honors thesis research, to being elected to Phi Beta Kappa, it's been an amazing academic semester.

Feeling nostalgic? Here are some of the great moments we've shared together during the past year. (And of course, don't forget that if you're looking for a REALLY old throwback, you can check out the "Throwback Thursday" tag to see some hilariously old photos of family trips to Paris, Normandy, and more!)
But New Year's isn't about looking back ... it's about looking FORWARD. And 2015 is sure to be just as so much more unexpected and crazy and wonderful as 2014.